The stretch of Broadway between Flushing Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, which has no shortage of hair and nail salons, bodegas, and 99c stores, is not known for its plethora of places to get a drink, aside from Beauty Bar. But across the street, just a few doors down from Cholulita, Divine Café is now open for business — and the community’s suggestions.
Owner Larry Golb, who lives in the neighborhood, describes Divine as a bar, café, and restaurant, and felt a need in this part of Bushwick, where takeout is the norm (Tiki Hut tried its hand at grilling but lost). He’s hardly presenting a finished product, however, because he wants to shape the place according to what patrons want.
Catering to everyone, initially, “was the only way I could intelligently come up with something,” Golb says, citing a first-draft menu that includes American, Mexican, and Spanish fare, all made to order by a Dominican-Mexican cook.
“The neighborhood’s changing, and there’s a lot of different groups, so we thought we’d try to cater to everybody, just to see what group is going to be the dominant group,” Golb says. “Depending on what the community wants in this particular area, we would expand on whatever that situation was.”
Divine’s menu includes everything from burgers, onion rings, and fried calamari to shrimp cocktail, nachos, and house salads, to grilled chicken breast, rice and beans, and breaded tilapia. Most of the menu items are in the $1 to $8 range, while house specialties range from $9 to $17 for grilled skirt steak. Beers are $3 or $4. Delivery is available.
Café manager Danny Andon says he wants to make sure his customers are happy. “If customers have any comments or complaints, anything positive or negative, we would love to hear from them.”
Andon says he’s got everything from Dominican and Puerto Rican rums and Mexican tequilas to Hennessey cognac, Malibu flavored rum, and Jack Daniels whiskey behind the bar. There’s no skimping on size or quality when it comes to the mixed drinks ($7 to $10), he says: “When we make a Long Island Iced Tea, we make a Looooong Island Iced Tea.” There are also happy hour specials on weeknights, including $4 wells and $18 beer buckets. Divine plans to make its own infusion vodkas and tequilas, as soon as it gets the OK from the health department.
Behind Divine’s tinted glass façade, the décor is nothing fancy; red walls, dark wooden tables and chairs, and a nice long bar top. There are TV screens for showing sports events, a jukebox, and a stereo system, but the vibe is up to customers. “What do you want — DJs, karaoke, a theme night, even an old movie night? Do people want to hear 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, or Spanish? Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter,” Golb says.
Right now, Divine’s hours are 3pm to 2am Monday to Thursday, 1pm to 4am Friday and Saturday, and 1pm to 2am Sunday. It all depends on what customers want. “I could stay open til 4am every day, as long as there’s a demand,” Golb says. “Any support from the community would be greatly appreciated.”